Pubs celebrate beer guide inclusion

TWO of the area’s finest pubs are raising a pint in cheers after being included in the nation’s most trusted beer bible.

The Criterion on Upper Church Road, Weston and The Old Inn in Hutton are celebrating making their first appearance in the 2011 edition of the Campaign for Real Ales (Camra) Good Beer Guide.

The guide is the only publication where entry is determined by the quality of a pub’s beer, and is a widely-respected who’s who of the country’s best pubs.

Tim Nickolls of the Weston branch of Camra said: “We are delighted that Paul Sprackman at The Criterion and John Hayes at The Old Inn have been recognised in this prestigious national publication, particularly given that this year was their first full year running these pubs.

“In both cases the new incumbents have breathed new life into pubs that were down on their fortunes.

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“John took over The Old Inn at the end of June last year and quickly over-hauled the entire operation. He has now put the pub back where it belongs – at the heart of its community.”

Mr Hayes took over The Old Inn at the end of June 2009, and has put in a wide range of beers and ales, including a range of Somerset beers.

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Mr Sprackman took over the Criterion, which had been closed for several months, in March 2009.

Since then he has turned the pub into one of the best in Weston, with the emphasis entirely on providing a relaxed atmosphere and a good selection of beers.

Mr Nickolls added: “The beers are a mix of near-and-far, with some served straight from the cask. Both these pubs are worthy of peoples’ support.”

Other pubs in the area included in the guide are the The Raglan, in Upper Church Road, Weston, Off The Rails in Weston railway station, The Queens Arms in Bleadon, the Old Inn and the Plough in Congresbury, and the Crown in Churchill.

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